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Serialized storytelling is the biggest thing on television now, whether on networks, cable or through various streaming services like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu. But now, looking to start competing with those streamers, Apple is apparently close to securing a deal for the remake of Steven Spielberg's '80s series, Amazing Stories, an anthology — or episodic — show.
It was, at the time, a modern attempt at taking on a Twilight Zone-type of show, but didn't quite connect with the audience over its two-season run. Still, in all the years after it has gained a tremendous cult following, which is fueling interest in a new version. And not only is Spielberg and his Amblin Entertainment company back as executive producer, but one of the key figures also guiding things is Bryan Fuller, co-creator of AMC's American Gods, CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery, and creator of NBC's Hannibal. Serialized television is his thing, but Fuller believes Amazing Stories has a chance to really make a mark.
"I think we’re seeing a transition into television storytelling that is contained," Fuller explains in an exclusive interview. "Look at what is happening in Fargo and American Horror Story, where they have these self-contained story arcs within a single season. And the natural extension of that is sort of anthological in its origins. To return to an anthology series that is about a certain brand of storytelling and the Amblin brand of Spielbergian thrills. You know, movies like Innerspace, Gremlins, Indiana Jones —those movies were so much fun, and thrilling, and had a darkness to them that was very resonant with me as an audience member. And the idea of being able to curate a lineup of ten stories that are produced by Steven Spielberg and myself... well, it was very exciting."
It also didn't feel like an overwhelming amount of work to him, because his job was to find great storytellers who wanted to tell a story, and facilitate them telling it as well as they possibly could.
"And then," he laughs, "produce the living hell out of it. So that was exciting, because it felt like it was something that I could do alongside American Gods. It wasn't where I was necessarily running a television series where I am tracking character arcs through multiple episodes, but instead focusing on one hour— one 43-minute story, talking to a writer that I love, whose work is infectious, and saying, 'What story do you want to tell? That’s a great story, let’s make it happen.' I feel like I’m almost a magazine editor working with different journalists. So that was very exciting for me, as well as I want to branch out and not just tell the stories that I want to tell, but actually facilitate other writers and directors to tell a story that they're excited about, that I want to see as an audience member. So that felt like a great opportunity to not only work with one of my childhood heroes, but also share an enthusiasm for storytelling with an audience that allows us to pull out a lot of tricks in an hour. To captivate an audience."
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